Mister Ferguson and I woke up around 5:45 am, picked up my running partner Julia Goolia and headed to the Shamrock Shuffle, a ten mile race that is held in Harmony, PA (about 45 minutes away from Pittsburgh). It was cold but clear when we huddled in the barn to get instructions from the race leader. She told us good luck and where to locate the starting line. Almost as an afterthought she added, “Oh yeah, the township police have forbidden the use of ipods on the race course. Anyone caught using an ipod will be disqualified from the race. You need to learn how to run without help, anyway.”
Um, hello? WTF was I supposed to do with that? I can’t run a mile without my ipod, let alone ten. I need Girl Talk, Kanye and Jay-Z to get me up those hills! Panic set in and my heart started racing. I opened my mouth to protest, but the lady meant business. She made it sound like she was going to do a body cavity search on each and every one of us.
It took me all of five seconds to decide the rule was meant to be broken. As I took my place in the back of the pack, a girl asked me what I planned to do about the ipod ban situation. I told her, “I don’t give a shit, I’m wearing it. They’ve already given me my t-shirt and it’s in my car. I’m not going to win the race, so they can disqualify me if they want.” In a show of solidarity, the girl and her friend also strapped on their ipods. We weren’t going down without a fight.
Turns out, it wasn’t as big of a deal as we thought it was going to be. I high-fived several policemen on the course and they didn’t say a word about my headphones. I wasted precious energy worrying about this nonsense—precious energy I desperately needed to complete the race.
whenever it comes on it makes me feel strong
I thought I told y’all that we won’t stop
Looking at it on the page right now it makes me laugh that these words had such a profound effect on me last Saturday morning, but they did. At that point I knew that I was going to finish the race. I knew that I would get the job if it was meant to be and if I didn’t, I would get another one and it would be just as great. I spent the last four miles thinking about all of the things that have happened to me over the past year and how I could apply my new wisdom from Puff Daddy to other areas of my life. A little over a year ago I was afraid of childbirth, afraid of becoming a mother, afraid of starting to run again. Yet, here I was, completing a ten mile race, with a happy and healthy 13-month-old little girl waiting for me at the finish line. And I realized that as long as I believe in myself, the best is yet to come.
We were all pretty beat when we climbed into the car to go home. Mister Ferguson announced to us, “If we’re going to keep running these races, I’m going to have to get a pair of tighty-whities.” We all cracked up and I told everyone about a running thong I had seen in a catalog that week. I don’t know about you, but unsightly panty lines are the last thing I’m worried about during a long run. I can't think of anything more uncomfortable.